Chris Jory has come agonisingly close to winning one of Australia's iconic one-day races and in spite of a number of podium finishes over the years at Grafton to Inverell and Goulburn to Sydney, the final victory has eluded him. His run of results in the National Road Series' toughest one-day events is impressive but he will line-up at this year's Grafton looking to 'right' the result he took in the 2011 edition.
"Last year I kind of feel like I got robbed a bit - I came in second, so this year I'm definitely looking forward to it again. Hopefully I've got the legs to do something," Jory told Cyclingnews.
Jory will head to the final NRS race of the year with his GPM-Wilson Racing team. The team led by former professional Trent Wilson has demonstrated its ability to achieve results late into the season and the Grafton has proved to be suitable to the strengths of the Sydney-based squad - Jory placed second in 2011 and Sam Rutherford finished third in 2010.
"I think the boys will have some good form and the whole team is really looking forward to the Grafton weekend. Sam Rutherford and Caleb Jones are also going well so I think we go there we a number of chances for a result," said Jory.
Jory is motivated for the final race of the year as he looks to secure his commitments for the coming 2013 season. He's raced a "split season" for the past few years, spending the majority of the time racing in Belgium with the VL Technics - Abutriek squad before returning to complete the remaining NRS races alongside Wilson's team. After a number of years racing overseas in France, Italy and Belgium the Sydney resident is looking to lock-in something more permanent either in Australia or abroad.
"I don't any plans for next year so I'm still looking for something that will suit me - whether that's in Australia and overseas.
"The way it's been the last couple of years, I've had a bit of a split season. I've been fortunate enough that 'Willo' has allowed me to race in the beginning of the season and then made a spot available when I come back from Belgium. It's worked out perfectly so if that was to happen next year that would be great as well."
The Grafton signals the end of Jory's season which began in January with the National Championships and was promptly followed by the New Zealand Cycle Classic. His build up for next year is usually slated around his return to Belgium however, with the return of the Sun Tour in 2013 Jory says the National Championships may also be a focus.
"I'll have a couple of weeks off after Grafton and then start building up again. Depending on what I do next year I'd like to give nationals a bit of a crack. I haven't really focussed on that the past few years because it's been about being in good shape when I go over to Belgium and being strong for March. This time there's a bit more racing around the start of the year so it makes it worthwhile to be going good at the start of the year with Bay Crits, Sun Tour and nationals."